In the recent whitepaper by digital marketing technology provider Silverpop, “How to Make the Most of Marketing Technology & Deliver a More Personal Experience,” the company looks at our increasingly digital and social world and how marketers need to adapt. Buyers are often more than halfway through a purchase decision these days before they even talk to a sales rep, and that means change for everyone.

Gartner found that 139.3 million smartphones were solid in 2008, but 207.7 million were sold in just the 4th quarter of 2013 alone. Tablet sales have jumped as well, and email is still the number one activity on both. Digital communication is key, but tailored to the ever-changing ways consumers choose to interact and on which devices.

“Meanwhile, social networks have more or less taken over the universe.” -Silverpop

Since consumers are often much further along in the buying process when you first make contact, content and campaigns need to be approached with their needs, not your sales goals, in mind—what they want to know and learn and through which channels.

As consumers interact with a brand through various channels, they want their behaviors to be recognized so that brands can better tailor communications to fit their needs at any given time.

Recent data from Outsell’s new BuyerScout offering tells us that only about 25% of conversions are the make of the intended OEM. This indicates the enormous opportunity to improve retention of past customers as well as conquest consumers from other brands.

Make sure your marketing platform has rules for following up on open and click activity on specific campaigns, website browsing, as well as social media activity and comments, and respond accordingly. By treating every person as an individual with unique interests and desires, you can deliver a superior customer experience that leads to more sales and better retention.